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Factory upgrades and new radar fit Gray Eagle ER into multi-domain operations

7th April 2022 - 16:00 GMT | by The Shephard News Team

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GA-ASI aims to make the Class IV Gray Eagle ER the designated US Army MDO platform for long-range sensors and air-launched effects. (Photo: GA-ASI)

Flight tests and qualification work will begin this year with two factory-upgraded Gray Eagle Extended Range aircraft.

General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Inc (GA-ASI) has continued the development of its modernised MQ-1C Gray Eagle Extended Range (ER) UAS with the first factory upgrades and a new radar to support multi-domain operations (MDO).

Installation of factory upgrades began in February 2022 with two Gray Eagle ER aircraft, GA-ASI noted in a 4 April statement, adding that flight tests and qualification work for the US Army ‘will start later this year’.

GA-ASI aims to make the Class IV Gray Eagle ER the designated US Army MDO platform for long-range sensors and air-launched effects (ALEs). The modernised aircraft features an open architecture design, advanced data links and a more powerful 180hp engine.

MDO capabilities of the modernised Gray Eagle have been demonstrated in trials at the Yuma Proving Grounds of long-range sensors, ALEs and control interfaces.

GA-ASI has also introduced the Eagle Eye multimission radar with video-based synthetic aperture for Gray Eagle ER. The company on 5 April described the new radar as a ‘drop-in solution’ for the UAS.

The radar features synthetic aperture, ground/dismount moving target indicator and maritime wide-area search modes.

Eagle Eye is designed to accurately detect, locate and report stationary or mobile targets for MDO with long-range fires provided by 155mm extended-range cannon.

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